Ferrara is Music

Written by  Lorenzo Fasolo
A short history of Ferrara Musica, a great cultural association.
Ferrara Musica is a musical association established in 1989 by the Ferrara municipal authority and the Cassa di Risparmio di Ferrara, with support from the Emilia-Romagna Region, to provide a settled Italian place of residence for a major European orchestra of young musicians.

During its thirteen years, Ferrara Musica has given more that two hundred and fifty concerts in Ferrara and Italy, taken part in operatic productions with Ferrara's Teatro Comunale, and made recordings with major record companies.
The Honorary President is Claudio Abbado. From 1989 to 1997 the resident orchestra was the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, succeeded in 1998 by the Mahler Chamber Orchestra.

The Mahler Chamber Orchestra was established by Claudio Abbado and consists of the best young musicians from the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester founded by the same conductor; there are 50 young musicians from fifteen different European countries, playing two concert cycles in Ferrara each year, in autumn and spring. As well as Claudio Abbado himself, other internationally known conductors, including the young principal guest conductor, Daniel Harding, conduct the orchestra.
After Don Giovanni at the Aix-en-Province Festival, conducted by Daniel Harding and Claudio Abbado, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra took part in a production of Verdi's Falstaff in Ferrara in May 1999, and in February 2000 they played in the production of Mozart's Così Fan Tutte. In May 2001 they performed Verdi's Simon Boccanegra as part of the Verdi celebrations.

The Association has also organised a number of Italian tours by the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, giving concerts produced by Ferrara Musica.
The Association's management skills in organising secondary events alongside the production of live concerts is evident from the significant numbers of TV transmissions, recordings and radio broadcasts of concerts over the years.
The most recent tour of the Berlin Philharmonic under Claudio Abbado (May 2002) was organised by Ferrara Musica.

Training, epitomised by the Training Project which has been supported by the European Union for two consecutive years, received a fresh impetus in 2000 when the Ferrara off-shoot of the Gustav Mahler Academy was set up, providing master classes for young orchestral musicians. The initiative, the only one of its kind in the Region, is the brain-child of Claudio Abbado and is organised by Ferrara Musica with the support of the Ferrara local authority. It is now in its third year.
The main aim of the Academy is to foster the instrumental and musical skills of pupils from all over the world.
The international artistic prestige of the visiting professors is indicative of the high standard of specialist teaching provided.

In conjunction with its commitment to encourage young people to become involved in the world of music, Ferrara Musica is for the fourth successive year sponsoring and organising a series of concerts entitled "Facoltà di musica" in collaboration with Ferrara University. These are lecture concerts given by well-known performers and focusing on a range of different themes.

The Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio was a founder member of Ferrara Musica. Since 1999 Ferrara Musica has also received funding from events department of the Ministry for culture and heritage.